Tomas Fleischmann missed the last game against the Atlanta Thrashers, arriving in Denver just too late to make it to his first game in a Unipron. But that didn't stop me from wondering where he would play. I have seen a bunch of speculation across the various multitude of threads over the last couple of days, but I wanted to put something up so that people could chime in with their thoughts. A couple more of my own after the jump!
According to Dater, Joe Sacco has said that he expects Flash to play on a line to the left of Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk. Personally, I think this is a great way to ease him into the Avs system. Stastny is an excellent center, and is very adept at understand what it is that Sacco wants from him. Duke is, of course, Duke, but the added bonus here is that both Hejduk and Fleischmann are both Czech. As others have said, Hejduk seems to be a bit of a hero in Czech cultural landscape, and having someone like that on Flash's line would easily be the easiest way to make him feel welcome.
So, the obvious next step is to reconstruct the 2nd line. David Jones is playing too damn well to drop down to third, so he has to sit alongside Matt Duchene. Dutchie and the Dotca haven't clicked as well in the past as I would have liked, but I don't really see any other alternative. Besides, Jone's play right now is some of the best that I have seen from him, and they might work together better this time around. On the right side, the obvious choices are Greg Mauldin and Brandon Yip. I believe that Yippers should go here, and leave Mauldin for the third line. Its true that Mauldin has done fantastically well over the last few games, but I feel that Yip has more innate scoring ability, and I would love to see if that line could bring it out of him.
The rest would be pretty self-explanatory:
Flash / Stats / Duke
Jonesy / Dutchie / Yip
Winnik / Radar / Mauldin
Porter / Dupuis / McLeod.
Funny, now we have to put one of our usual LWers onto the RW to make room. I had almost forgotten what that was like. In some ways, since Jones used to play on the RW all the time, we could move him back to his more 'natural' position, and try someone like Porter on the second line. Yip would have to get bumped the third, and Mauldin could be on the energy line with Dupuis and McLeod. For that matter, if we wanted to, after Flash gets into the Avs a little bit, he could be paired with Duchene to try and jumpstart that line. If he is as fast as some people say, he could fit in really well there, much like Mueller did when he first got here [altho in a different way]. I would prefer Flash on the top line, but we will have to see how that works out.
One of the aspects of this that I find most fascinating is Peter Mueller and injuries. I have some hopes that he can come back soon-ish. I know he's not yet skating again, but if he comes back about the time that Chris Stewart begins to heal up, we will have some tough decisions to make. Do you re-unite Ferris and Duchene, along with Duke for that matter? Will Flash work well with Stats? Where on earth do you put Jones? Its hard to demote him with the stats he's putting up. I guess you have to start sending some of the kids down, mainly Dupuis. Its going to be very interesting to see what kind of personnel changes happen during that time.
What are your thoughts on the lines, ladies and gentlemen?